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Discussion in 'War in the Pacific' started by USMCPrice, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    2.) The next area we need to consider is Hangchow and the major highway running from that location westward to Nanchang. This highway forms the boundary between the AoCC operational area and the Army of South China Operational Area (AoSC). We would like to secure this highway and construct a series of forward operating bases along it to secure the route. Road infrastructure in this area is minimal with the exception of this main highway. The country between the highway, north to the Yangtzee, is rough and heavily forested and there are virtually no large population centers between Hangchow and the Nanchang/Kiukiang area. With limited population, easy access to the Yangtze and plentiful cover to avoid detection, this area will likely prove problematic by allowing enemy forces sanctuaries from which to operate against the population centers on the lower Yangtze and our occupied positions on the upper Yangtze. If sufficient troops can be found we would like to run a clearing and securing operation up the highway and sweep and clear the area between the highway and Yangtze in conjunction with the operations outlined in section 1.).
    Hangchow is located near the coast on the Chientang River near where it empties into Hangchow Bay. It is the southern terminus of the grand Canal and a provincial capital. Its existance can be traced back at least 4000 years. Strong tidal currents cause the river to silt heavily so it is not a prime location for a major port unless we desire to engage in extensive dredgeing operations. We have occupied Hangchow since December 1937. The population is not particularly rebellious and we feel we can secure it with minimal IJA/IJN forces if we immediately form local Chinese units and prepare them to take over security operations there.
    Nanchang is a Chinese provincial capital and communications center. It is located on the Kan River where it enters Poyang Lake. We have occupied it since March 1939 and repelled a major Chinese effort to retake the city one month later in April. We handily repulsed the attempt. Not only do we feel Nanchang is important as an anchor for our line between AoCC and AoSC, and an important location for keeping the main highway to Hangchow open, but as an important location to help isolate and eventually attack and capture Changsha.
    Kiukiang is the second largest city after Nanchang in the Jiangxi province. It was once a key tea producing center and had a sizeable international community. The British ceased their tea production there in 1927 when riotous crowds and mutinying workers pillaged and robbed the British Concession. With the approach of KMT forces on Wuhan, the remaining international population fled on American and British warships south to Shanghai. It is important that we continue to hold it to secure river access and Nanchang's right flank.
     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Colonel, before I can offer a firm opinion, please indulge me in the matter of a few questions that might clarify the issue for a poor politician.

    First, what is the level of importance of this operation in the view of the General Staff?

    Useful: The threat is localized and can wait for us to free troops from other operations as they are completed.
    Important: The threat is localized, but growing and our other operations could lead to a more serious and complicated operation if delayed.
    Critical: Failure to conduct operations could lead to a compromise of other clearing operations.

    Secondly, What force levels do the General Staff deem necessary to successfully complete the clearance sweeps?

    Regimental: 3 to 4 Battalions
    Brigade: 5 to 7 Battalions
    Divisional: 8 to 10 Battalions

    How long will these operation take in the best estimate available?

    You had discussed the temporary transfer of a Divisional size force from the Home Islands to be used in similar operations further north while having units in country undergo the transition to the new TOE. The rational being a chance to give green troops a chance to gain combat experience while giving the veteran troops time to prepare for more serious operations scheduled later.

    Are there any other unassigned "green" troops available in the Home Islands or elsewhere?

    Can veteran troops be temporarily "loaned" from the Kwantung Army and then returned upon completion?

    With the cancellation of operations against America, can troops originally assigned this task be temporarily "loaned" without compromising either planned operations in the SRA, Malaysian or the Strategic Reserve to be held to seize selected American possessions should there be a sudden breach of peace?
     
  3. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    With the cancellation of operations against America, can troops originally assigned this task be temporarily "loaned" without compromising either planned operations in the SRA, Malaysian or the Strategic Reserve to be held to seize selected American possessions should there be a sudden breach of peace?

    Some......our previous war plan (aka history) called for landings in Malaya and the northern and southern Philippines. Only after bases were establised on Mindanao and the southern Philippines would we move into the eastern East Indies.

    Since we are not initially attacking the Philippines, we had discussed and I believe agreed to use the amphibious shipping and the first wave of troops for an immediate offensive in the East Indies, steaming from Palau. I would like us go as far as Tarakan as quickly as our transports can get there, and exploit as soon as possible thereafter to points like Balikpapen and Ambon. This will secure key resources before the enemy has time to destroy them or build up defensive forces. It will also immediately complete the isolation of the Philippines, which may help deter American intervention in the war, or prevent reinforcement of the islands if deterrence is unsuccessful.

    The majority of American-Filipino troops are on Luzon, so we had envisioned building up additional forces after our initial landings. What would be follow-on echelons for the Philippines could be available for other operations if the Americans stay out.

    I would also suggest that we not undertake major new operations in China until our conquest of the SRA is complete; that should only take a couple of months. From what I've read of our plans for China, we envision considerable military, political, and economic preparation which could be ongoing while major combat operations are carried out in the south.
     
  4. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    The Philippine operation used two divisions, the 16th and 48th, plus a regiment was landed at Legazpi. We can use the two divisions and shipping to make a new landing on the south tip of Malaya to bring about a collapse of the British much faster. We actually can attack Tarakan and Balikpappan at the same time, using sub divisional forces. The main reason for waiting to attack Java is we need to secure air bases and make sure we eliminate British air and land forces first. We have discussed seizing Palembang at the start.
     
  5. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    The good Admiral is correct, we had discussed using the bulk of the troops and shipping slated for a Philippines invasion to support a more rapid conquest of the East Indies. I think this plan does offer the greatest opportunity for success. We have a large force slated for the Philippines operation that will be freed up and I would like to commit a large proportion of it to operational use as Admiral Karonada has outlined. The remainder I would like to retain as a reserve, to be quickly committed if we run into problems or to exploit unforseen opportunities. We will also have the Guam and Wake Island invasion forces. I would like to transfer the shipping and troops slated for Guam to Admiral Karonada's command to further enhance his abilities to carry out operations in the DEI. I would like to have the Wake Island force retasked with Noumea/New Caledonia, if we don't seize that position before hand.

    The Admiral is also correct that many of the initial actions we will take, economic, political, military re-organizational will take time. They will not be anywhere near complete until well after the kickoff date for the Malaya/SRA operation. I agree in principle with the Admiral's statement; "I would also suggest that we not undertake major new operations in China until our conquest of the SRA is complete." I agree that we should not undertake major combat operations or combat operations that have the possibility of escalating and drawing in resources we intend to utilize for our Malaya/SRA operation. The operation we proposed for sweeping and securing the inner defensive perimeter in the AoNC area is one of the type operations I feel we can undertake. Green troops and a few 2d echelon air units. Units we would not use against the forces of western nations. If we go with the timeline I gave in the original proposal. The operation would begin by October 19th, at the latest. That gives us a full two weeks if we cut orders tomorrow, to pack up, ship, unload and move to assembly points the green units we have requested to use. We estimated 16 to 21 days to complete phase one. That takes us to the 04 November on the low end to 09 November on the high end. We will in all likelyhood complete our objectives ahead of schedule so the 4th or earlier is the more likely date. If we take the later date, and transition immediately into phase two, which should also run 16 to 21 days, we have a termination date of the 25th on the low end. Our first window for kicking off the Malaya/SRA operation is 28 November so phase two will likely be complete prior to the invasion start. If it drags into the later date we're looking at 30 November. My suggesting would be to press ahead with stage one, if we complete it by 04 November or earlier, transition to phase two. We could use 07 November as the no-go date. If phase one is not wrapped up and we are not prepared to kick off phase two by the 07th of November we delay it.
     
  6. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Divisional for option #1, a division and a brigade (5 regiments or 15 battallions) for the second.
    Yes, we have additional "green" units we could use, we can use them in the option one scenario, unless we try to clear all the way to Sinyang (that's some of the bad news I have yet to relate). I would hesitate to use "green" troops for option two.

    Yes, but once you have been given the whole picture, you might wish to use them elsewhere.

    I think I fully addressed this when replying to Admiral Karonada. If not or you desire additional information, I will gladly address this matter again in more depth.
     
  7. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I was inquiring about the clearing operation for Hangchow-Nanchang. If postponed till sufficient troop availability, will it affect the similar Phase 1 operations just to the north?
     
  8. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    No sir, if we patrol the Yangtze heavily, it serves as a natural barrier against re-infiltration of the areas we will clear in the AoCC area.

    If we can find the troops, it secures the rear of Nanchang, denies a significant sanctuary to enemy forces, and protects the large population centers clustered along the southern bank of the lower Yangtze.

    We won't lose China if we don't execute the operation. If run, we feel it will sufficiently change the makeup of the battlefield to make future operations possible earlier and less costly.
     
  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    So this clearing operation in the Hangchow-Nanchang region is something we can delay in the near term to allow us chance to gather the necessary resources. The SRA and Malay operations must take precedence but we must move forward in China as well to free resources to counter the probable American and possible Soviet interventions.

    I have made no secret of my desire to see a resolution to the China issue and I firmly believe that we can resolve this dilemma with a determined and well co-ordinated effort. The exact timing of each phase or even when that phase takes place within various Operational Areas is less important to me than the need to keep pressure on the Nationalist/Communist forces to avoid their improving their position and to reach the end game by early to mid 1944 to allow us to concentrate on more direct threats to our security.

    Please continue with your briefing.
     
  10. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Now sir, before I get into the bad news I mentioned earlier, I'd like to give you some background to illustrate the scale of the problem. In the AoNC area we are facing Communist Chinese Forces that have been suffered significant attrition at the hands of Chiang's KMT and in combat with our forces. What remains is fairly weak numerically and quantitatively.
    In the AoCC we are facing Chiang's KMT in full force. He can field forces in huge numbers despite our having killed them off in droves. At one time he had a large number of very capable, foreign trained formations. We destroyed most of them and what he has left are rather poorly trained, but they are present in huge neumbers.
    Changsha-We have fought two battles for this city, the first from September 17, 1939 – October 6, 1939 and a second one just recently, commencing on 06 September this year and we began falling back on the 30th. Our troops are still falling back towards Wuhan. We committed 120,000 troops, the Chinese countered with 1,410,000. We were fighting at a disadvantage of more than 10:1, our supplie lines were cut in numerous places and additional Chinese formations were moving into the area.
    Wuhan-We control Wuhan, the actual metropolitan area is comprised of three cities located at the juncture of the Yangtze and Han rivers. Hankow, Wuchang and Hanyang, Wuhan is the name given to the conglomeration. Wuhan is the second largest city in China with a population of two million. It is an important transportation, manufacturing, political, cultural, financial and educational center. Road, rail and river transportation rely on Wuhan as a hub. Wuhan was the site of the Wuhan Uprising in October 1911, led by Sun Yat-Sen's followers, it led to the fall of the Qing Dynasty. Wuhan was the capital of Wang Jingwei's faction of the KMT government in 1927. Chiang's faction established its seat of govenment in Nanking. Chiang began a series of purges of left leaning and communist Chinese in Shanghai, Changsha and Canton, named the "White Terror" tens of thousands of Chinese were massacred. In Changsha alone over ten thousand were killed during one 20 day period. Chiang dispatched one of his subordinate warlords with troops to seize Wuhan. The Wang Jingwei faction was defeated, the government dissolved, Wuhan was occupied and Chiang was left in complete control of the KMT. In 1937 when we were forced to again intervene in China, and we took Shanghai and Nanking, Chinag fled to Wuhan and it again became the seat of government.
    From June into October, 1938 we fought a campaign against Chiang and his KMT forces for control of Wuhan. It ended up being one of the largest battles in history. Chiang eventually committed 1,100,000 troops, 200 aircraft and 30 ships. We committed 350,000 troops, 500 aircraft and 120 naval/riverine vessels. We inflicted a quarter of a million casualties on the KMT at the cost of 100,00 of our own. It is imperative that we retain control of Wuhan, regardless of costs, if we are to control China.

    We wish to give the forces currently deployed to the Wuhan area priority on personnel and equipment to convert to the new TOE. It will make them stronger from a firepower perspective, more manueverable and we get much more combat power per soldier employed.
     
  11. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    We do not at present have a contiguous front in China, more a series of enclaves, each of which are subject to infiltration and attack from several directions. The AoNC area is the most secure and our proposed operations will assure it is clear of enemy forces and we can provide security and begin political reformation with little interference. The Chinese have managed to maintain a bulge in the lines that produces a wedge of uncontrolled territory along the AoNC/AoCC border region. Our phase one operations will erase this wedge up to the inner perimeter I have described. Phase two will allow us to push this line further out to fully erase the bulge and form a solid defensive line from the northern border of the AoNC down to Wuhan in the AoCC area of operations.

    As for pressuring Chiang, we are in full agreement sir. We feel that we must seize and retain the intiative from Chiang. We have not gotten to that point yet, but we have some operations planned for the Army of South China (AoSC) that will threaten Chiang's flank and base. He will have to shift forces to meet and defend against the threat or lose many of the population centers he still controls and supply his forces with men and supplies. When he has to pull troops from the AoCC front we will strike and destroy his forces in that area. His historical tactic, which has worked well, is to allow us to penetrate, while his forces stage a fighting withdrawl. He moves forces to our flanks and commences attacks, while additional forces attack our lines of supply/communication. We have to siphon off forces to secure the LOC's and defend the flanks which reduces our forces at the point of attack, slowing our progress. Eventually our offensive grinds to a halt.
    We intend to counter this tactic by better coordination on an operational level to prevent him from being able to shift forces. Better, more extensive, pre-operational preparation so we shape the battle area and restrict his abilities to react to our offensives. Better logistical support so when we do undertake an offensive we push logistical assets forward closely behind the attack forces and build up forward supply dumps that can support operations while intermittent breaks in the supply line are dealt with. We won't be slowed because bullets, food and medical supplies run low.
     
  12. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Is our control of Wuhan at risk? Could KMT forces be induced to bleed themselves white (fight on our terms) in an attempt to take Wuhan from us?
     
  13. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Good question sir, but no. We are there in strength, and I wouldn't risk pulling forces back to tempt them. We also have strong naval forces that can support them from the Han and Yangtzee rivers. Where we are vulnerable and that is the rest of the "bad news" I spoke of are Ichang and Sinyang. Sinyang I spoke of earlier, it is a located on the main rail line we intend to use as the outer perimeter, 100 miles or so NNE of Hankow (Wuhan). Seizure of Sinyang during the Wuhan offensive cut the KMT's supply lines to the Soviet Union.
    Ichang is located a similar distance northwest of Hankow on the Yangtze River, at the mouth of the Three Gorges.
    [​IMG]

    Ichang also marks the point where river steamers can proceed no father upriver. All river traffic upriver of the city must be by barge. We captured the city on 12 June 1940, almost as an after thought while conducting operations to put pressure on Chiang's forces. We abandoned the city four days later. At the urging of the Navy, that wanted it as a forward base, we retook the city soon afterwards. The city's occupation did serve to sever KMT supply lines with Chungking.

    (Historical note: I'Chang maked the furthest point of advance by Japanese Forces. They did not manage to advance further upriver during WWII.)

    There are large Chinese forces located around both locations.
    -Surrounding Sinyang are the Chinese 7th, 84th, 12th, 29th and 13th Corps.
    -Surrounding I'Chang are the Chinese 39th, 59th, 75th, 67th, 32d, 2d, 68th, 45th, 94th and 8th Corps.
    -The 87th and 18th Corps are in position to support action in the I'Chang area.
    -The 30th, 55th, and 77th Corps are positioned to be able to support an attack on either location.

    My initial inclination was to reinforce Sinyang and pull back from I'Chang to a more defensible position. With our recent repulse at Changsha I feel this is no longer and option. If we pull back in that area now, it will appear that we are withdrawing in the face of pressure by KMT forces and that will prove to be of great propoganda value to Chiang. It will help assure continued western support and additional Chinese manpower will flock to his banner, strengthening his units.
     
  14. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Just a thought. Came to me as I was pondering the number of urban assaults we might be undertaking. Do we want to organize special assault units. Assault engineers armed with flame throwers, satchel charges, submachine guns, (bazooka/rpg type weapons when available), backed up by assault guns and LAV's?
     
  15. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Would this be a modification of our Divisional TOE or specialized Battalions like Armor and Cavalry?
     
  16. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    A seperate specialized battalion (s). Attached to a higher Headquarters as an additional asset when breaching fortifications or assaulting an urban area.
     
  17. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I think such an arrangement would be the wiser choice. I can see no harm in a prototype battalion to test this with expansion should it prove effective.
     
  18. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Colonel Bobimoto,

    the choice of having special assault troops is more than good and neccessary. I think we should set them up like the German Wehrmacht did it with their " Sturmpioniere"! They have showed more than one time that they are really useful at urban battles and to eliminate bunkers that normally would pin down our infantry. Please add some to our special units like the paratroopers too.

    Sorry for my absence but i was extremely busy the last weeks. "We have to die one death!" it was a saying at the German Staff if there was a decision like the one with l`Chang. Yes, it will bring more manpower to Chiang, but thought in longer terms it is more useful for us to go back to a more defenseable position. We need to think in years not in months.

    Again, thanks for the good explantions my good Colonel! This is exactly what i want to have.

    Kind Regards,

    Gen. Nishio
     
  19. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    So General Nishio, just so that I understand you intent. Your intent is that we abandon I'Chang and fall back to the vicinity of Hankow and the rail lines leading back north and Wuchang to the southweast. There to establish a defensive line?
     
  20. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    What part does I'Chang play in our dispositions? What forces are there? Does it have a part to play in later operations? Can forces recovered from there speed operations elsewhere? Do KMT forces in I'Chang present a threat to our defensive perimeter?
     

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